Shmini: “Don’t Lecture Me…”

“What you dislike in another take care to correct in yourself.” -Thomas Sprat

In Jewish tradition, the High Priest is granted a spectrum of ritual powers and responsibilities. One of the many curious ones is the ability, through animal sacrifice, to beseech for divine atonement for the nation of Israel.

However, before the High Priest brings this powerful sacrifice that has the ability to achieve forgiveness for the multitude of Israel, he is first directed to bring a personal atonement sacrifice.

Ibn Ezra on Leviticus 9:7 explains that the High Priest needs to attain personal redemption first, before he can dare intermediate in the atonement of anyone else. One can’t expect a person guilty of a certain sin to be successful in freeing someone else of their spiritual blotch while he is still mired in the same problem. The potential penitent would scoff at such hypocritical preaching.

We need to clean our side of the street before we dare lecture anyone else about theirs.

Shabbat Shalom,



To the various role models who have indeed straightened out their acts and inspire us by example.

About the Author
Ben-Tzion Spitz is the former Chief Rabbi of Uruguay and a candidate for the Knesset for the Zehut party. He is the author of three books of Biblical Fiction and hundreds of articles and stories dealing with biblical themes. Ben-Tzion is a graduate of Yeshiva University and received his Master’s in Mechanical Engineering from Columbia University.
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